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No decision for Turner The Mud Hens' Jacob Turner fires in a pitch during the first inning against the Syracuse Chiefs at Fifth Third Field on Saturday. The Hens pitcher gave up four earned run in six innings pitched, striking out six and walking two in Toledo's 8-5 loss.
The Mud Hens' Jacob Turner fires in a pitch during the first inning against the Syracuse Chiefs at Fifth Third Field on Saturday. The Hens pitcher gave up four earned run in six innings pitched, striking out six and walking two in Toledo's 8-5 loss.
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Published: Sunday, 5/20/2012

No decision for Mud Hens' Turner

Syracuse finds a way to get to Tigers' prospect

BY DAVID BRIGGS
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Cheers ripped throughout a sold-out Fifth Third Field as Jacob Turner walked slowly off the field after his fifth scoreless inning Saturday.

Fans knew they better enjoy the Tigers' top prospect. Turner did not seem long for Toledo.

Then came the sixth, and a breezy game screeched to a stop.

PHOTOS: Mud Hens vs. Syracuse

Turner allowed four runs on five hits in the inning to touch off an interminable night that only got worse for the Hens in their 8-5 loss to Syracuse.

As Turner left the field after the sixth -- his final inning -- silence replaced the applause. By the eighth, as Hens reliever Brooks Brown walked in a run in a four-run inning, boos replaced the silence.

It was the Hens' fourth straight loss, providing a down final note to Turner's once-promising season debut in Toledo.

Armed with a mid-90s fastball and a biting curve, Turner whitewashed the Chiefs for five innings. He allowed one hit, struck out five and faced only three batters over the minimum.

The 20-year-old was also more than big-league counterpart's equal. Chien-Ming Wang, a former 19-game winner for the Yankees on a rehab assignment for the Washington Nationals, allowed four runs on seven hits over 5⅔ innings.

Syracuse made Turner look exceedingly ordinary in the sixth. Corey Brown led off with a double, and four of the next six Chiefs hitters followed with hits.

The good fortune that occasionally hastened the pace early -- Eric Patterson, for instance, caught a ball high against the left-field wall -- suddenly vanished. Turner nearly escaped the sixth allowing just one run, only to be undone by an infield single.

With the Hens leading 2-1 and a runner at third, Brett Carroll hit a soft RBI two-out grounder right of shortstop Danny Worth to prolong the inning. The next three hitters reached as well.

Turner arrived in Toledo with much fanfare. Turner, a first-round draft pick in 2009 ranked the No. 22 overall prospect by Baseball America, began spring training as the favorite to earn the Tigers' fifth starter spot. He was shut down in mid-March with shoulder tendinitis and did not return.

Turner pitched as billed upon his return. He had a 1.66 ERA in four starts at Class A Lakeland and allowed two runs over 5⅓ innings in his first start for the Hens on Monday at Gwinnett.

Saturday's outing marked his first return to earth. In all, he allowed four runs on six hits and two walks while striking out six over six innings. He threw 100 pitches, including 67 for strikes.

Jose Ortega and Brown combined to allow three runs in the eighth. The final 4 1/2 innings lasted two hours, 11 minutes.

Worth led the Hens with three hits. Matt Young slugged a two-run homer that gave the Hens a 2-0 lead in the fifth inning.

Contact David Briggs, at dbriggs@theblade.com, 419-724-6084 or on Twitter @DBriggsBlade.



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